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Max Rennebohm, Tyler Woollard, Frank Durgin; Another attempt to measure tool-based compression of visual space (N=50). Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):1090. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/12.9.1090.
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Does intending to use a tool that extends reach compress visual space (Witt, 2011)? Last year we reported a failed attempt to exactly replicate such an effect, (Ontiveros, et al., 2011; see also de Grave et al., 2010). Here we adopted an instructional manipulation developed by Woods et al. (2009), to see if tool-based space-compression effects might be easier to reproduce with specific instruction sets. To avoid experimenter effects, we kept the experimenter blind to instruction condition by using a computer to assign participants to condition and to provide detailed instructions. Each participant was alerted (by the computer) to three different ways to view a shape matching task for a triangular shape on a table surface: (1) match the actual shape (what you believe the shape to be), (2) match the apparent shape (the way it looks) or (3) match the way the shape "feels" to you taking into account everything about the situation. Each participant was then specifically instructed to make matches (on a computer screen) according to one of these three criteria. Half of the subjects used a tool to reach the far point of the table shape after each trial. The other half reached with their hand. We had hypothesized that people in the hand conditions might be the source of variation because people normally overestimate the farthest reach of their hand and thus would receive feedback on some trials indicating that targets were farther than they appeared. Our data showed a trend in this direction: Participants in the "feel" version of the hand condition tended to provide higher estimates of the height-to-base aspect ratio of the shapes on the table than in the other five cells of the design.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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